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Motorcycle Touring Tips - Riding Versus Touring Buddies

Motorcycle Touring Tips Types of Motorcycles

Do you have similar budgets for your motorcycle trip?

Ah, the money issue! A worse case scenario could be that one rider’s idea of roughing it is having a room that doesn’t offer HD television while the other guy’s idea is a campground that doesn’t have showers. This is an extreme example of course but there are more subtle and realistic issues to consider. Do you want to share a room? If your riding buddy snores like a drunken sailor or watches TV until 2 AM this could be a real problem.

Meals can become an issue, too. Do you eat three squares, two or even one? Most importantly perhaps, where do you eat? Again, tastes can vary from Mickey D’s verses a five star restaurant, all items to consider before setting out.

Do you have similar motorcycle touring experience?

Those that travel often may take for granted what they have learned over the years. An experienced motorcycle touring rider will know what to pack on their motorcycle and how to pack it. You may find yourself each morning waiting for your traveling partner to pack his bike or routinely stopping along the way to pick up necessity items at Wal-Mart. Either way this cuts into your travel time and can become a point of irritation or embarrassment.

Do you have similar motorcycles?

No I don’t mean are they both red! First off consider the range of both (all) motorcycles. It doesn’t help if one rider’s motorcycle has a 300 mile range if the partner’s bike can barely reach 100 miles before needing gas. Yes, you can simply stop more often to fuel but this limitation in certain parts of the country may dictate where you can ride.

Also, if you can’t pack both bikes to carry essential gear this will alter your plans. This is particularly important to those motorcyclists who are camping but will also dictate the number of laundry stops along the way.

Do you have compatible personalities?

In the case of Eric and Charlie, they probably had compatible personalities...well at least when they started out!

Motorcycle Touring Tips Riding Skills for Two

It may be as silly as your buddy never gets geared up to ride as quickly as you or you both strongly disagree who should have been elected dog catcher in the last election. Regardless, little things that may bug you on a day ride can become a really big deal over an extended period of time on the road. You need to ask yourself before starting out if you can handle your riding buddy’s little idiosyncrasies on a daily basis and of course can he deal with yours?

Bottom line is to be candid with yourself and your riding companion before starting out on that long motorcycle road trip.

After all riding buddies can be the best of friends and touring buddies can become the worst of enemies.

Don’t let that happen to you!



Cozumel says:

Great article, all true as I discovered on my last trip in Mexico.
Sun May 21, 2017 at 7:35 AM


To James25: Like the Nike ad says "Just Do It." BUT before you take that leap do a few extended weekends traveling on your bike. You will quickly discover what you do and do not need to take along. I did a 10K trip by myself except for the final leg where I caught up with my wife in Taos, NM. It was a great experience. Do your bike maintenance well ahead of time, plan your route for your allotted time and enjoy the ride. You can do it! -JEP-
Mon Mar 27, 2017 at 6:24 AM

chiefwo says:

I tour alone...I may ride with different people along the way for a day or so..but I go alone. Do my own planning, run my own tour. I have found that in the past riding with people is just a problem...which you end up having to deal with in the end. Too much senseless drama and added stress. So for me going solo is the way to go.
Sun Mar 12, 2017 at 5:15 PM

james25 says:

had a question trip from new york to arizona i do want to ride take the trip. i dont have anyone to ride with but i do plain to move out there. just wondering i keep getting neg. comments that i shouldnt travel on bike, but i ride all year long this would be the best experience for me. would want any tips from ppl who been riding for years for a newbie like me if i make my trip
Wed Mar 1, 2017 at 2:50 PM

gtedrow says:

Great information. I have heard many other horror stories from guys who had the wrong partner on a big trip
Sun Oct 30, 2016 at 4:53 PM


Thanks for the comments, guys! This was from personal experience over years of riding. I tend to agree with Pokey's comment. My best touring partner is my wife. She currently rides a Ninja 1000 and can run off and leave me if/when she wants! ;) -JEP-
Fri Mar 13, 2015 at 5:52 AM

Topper says:

Great post. I recently took a trip to Arkansas with 8 other riders I didn't know and their riding style was different than mine. I broke off from them a couple of days early to ride a slower pace.
Sun Nov 16, 2014 at 7:45 AM

BikerMeme says:

We are lucky. My husband & I have great riding companions. There is usually 4 - 6 of us on a road trip which we take every year. Usually 2 weeks. We all seem to agree on where to stay & where to eat. We don't usually book ahead of time either. Just play it by ear. We love riding together.
Fri May 30, 2014 at 7:41 AM

easyglider says:

Great post! Nothing worse than a bad trip. It strains things both on the trip and in the future. I had a buddy this happened to and he was ruined on long trips forever after. Went on to sell his bike a year later.

Consider taking a one weekend trip together before hitting the open hwy for 2 weeks. This is a good starter trip to find out more without wrecking a freindship.
Fri May 9, 2014 at 11:46 AM

jstaguy1951 says:

As a rider who has yet to take an extended tour this is a great article. Lots of food for thought.

Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 12:40 PM

SimplyLisa says:

Excellent post; you're spot on! Thanks for sharing.
Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

PhoenixRising says:

On POINT! As a professional Tour Guide, I run into this from time to time. So during the planning stages I ask MANY questions.
Thu Apr 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

pokey says:

riding with a partner does have its benifits, however my wife and i prefer to ride alone. we can stop when we like, take whatever road we like, and get a room when we get tired. we make no reservations. the best trip is having nowhere you have to be and 2 weeks to get there.
Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 7:06 PM

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